Published in the Financial Times, 28 April 2003
Sir, Denis MacShane (“Europe should forget the federalist papers”, April 23) is performing the old vaudeville trick of accusing your critics of something they don’t actually support. I think I can speak for the federalists in saying that we do not propose abolishing national governments in the European Union. The whole point of federalism is that it is based on different levels of government to carry out different tasks.
The really worrying comment in Dr MacShane’s article is where he calls on the Convention to ignore the citizens of the EU in order to satisfy the governments of the member states. It is precisely this warped sense of priorities that caused the democratic deficit in the first place.
Richard Laming, Director, Federal Union, London SE1 7TZ